Alive to God's promises—now

I've begun writing this from the north woods of Maine. We're canoeing the Penobscot and Piscataquis Rivers. It's the middle of June, and the first three days of our trip have been blue-sky days, a breeze out of the south. One afternoon a bald eagle leads the way as we travel upstream. She flies along the river's edge, and every hundred yards or so settles in the top of a tall pine, waiting patiently until we approach. We're practically just under her when she takes off again to find another tree. Each time, she selects a good vantage point where she can observe exactly what we're up to. As the eagle lifts off from her perch, we see the sunlight shine through her snow white tail feathers.

We watch two huge beavers at work in shallow water that evening. One doesn't seem to mind us at all while he munches contentedly on a salad of young green birch leaves. The other takes one look at us and offers the beaver's version of "high five"—the thunderclap of his wide tail on the water's surface as he makes a diving retreat.

Not what's ahead, but what's at hand
October 5, 1992

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